Construction to begin for Illinois high-speed rail leg - KMOV.com

Construction to begin for Illinois high-speed rail leg

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By Lakisha Jackson By Lakisha Jackson

ALTON, Ill. (AP) -- Construction of one leg of a planned high-speed rail line linking St. Louis and Chicago is ready to get under way.

Gov. Pat Quinn joined Sen. Dick Durbin and other dignitaries to breaking ground Friday in Alton for the portion of the line between the Mississippi River city and Springfield, then to near Lincoln.

That $98 million effort is a part of the $1.1 billion the Obama Administration awarded in January to improve passenger rail service between Chicago and St. Louis.

The improvements are expected to allow trains to operate at up to 110 mph. That's up from 79 mph currently. At the higher speed, travel time between the cities would be cut by about 90 minutes, to under four hours.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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